Obama’s State of the Union address is being described as him taking a victory lap.
“America, for all that we have endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong,” Obama claimed. “At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”
Much of the improvement in the economy has not been because of Obama’s policies and practices but in spite of him. It has come from a booming oil and gas industry that has lower fuel prices by nearly half, despite Obama’s animus and efforts to strangle it.
According to a Congressional Research Service report, U.S. crude oil production increased 38 percent from 2009 to 2013. Breaking that down further, the report said this was due to production on private land increasing by 61 percent, while production on federal public land actually fell — yes, fell — by 6 percent.
Under Obama’s administration the backlog of drilling permits at the Bureau of Land Management alone has topped 3,500 and the time it takes to obtain a permit has doubled. BLM recently has cut the acreage available in some oil and gas lease auctions by half to reduce the impact on sage grouse habitat.
The BLM’s own stats show in fiscal year 2014 the number of new drilling permits issued was one third of the number in 2006, both nationally and in Nevada. Also the number of acres of new oil and gas leases in 2014 was a quarter of the acreage leased in 2006, also both nationally and in Nevada.
Obama is taking credit for something he tried to stop.
His biggest applause line, deservedly so, was: “I have no more campaigns to run.”